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Study Automotive Engineering at Unitec

Bachelor of Applied Technology - Automotive Engineering

Want to advance your career in the automotive industry? Learn to keep pace with the rapid advances in automotive engineering and apply your skills across a wide range of technical and business decisions

360 (3.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Full-time for three years or part-time (day) options available

Programme overview

Keep pace with advances in automotive technology and find out how international trends affect national decisions about automotive applications. 

Learn about transport efficiency, sustainability issues, vehicle systems diagnosis, and how to manage industry disruption. 

Develop an in-depth understanding of what it takes to be socially responsible and innovative, and gain the skills to confidently apply your knowledge in a wide range of situations. Develop entrepreneurial skills to run business operations and manage projects within vehicle service industries. You'll also improve your communication and problem-solving skills.


  • Critically learn to manage disruptive technology
  • Analyze, compare, and contrast existing automotive systems, and update them where applicable
  • Access to multiple well-equipped specialist workshops and laboratories internal combustion engine, including hybrid and electrical vehicles
  • Access to a range of vehicle diagnostic tools for project work
  • Develop entrepreneurial skills to identify business opportunities
  • Undertake a major industry project in the final year where you can make valuable contacts for your future career in the automotive industry
  • Analyse industry practices as a part of the learning experience
  • Learn from teaching staff who are highly experienced, industry-connected, and research-active

Qualification pathway

Once you’ve successfully completed this programme you’ll receive the qualification as Bachelor of Applied Technology and graduates may also further your studies in our Graduate Business programme, Masters programmes

Admission requirements

For this programme you will need:

1. To have successfully completed a relevant Level 3 New Zealand Certificate or higher, or a comparable qualification in a relevant discipline or as approved by the Academic Leader.

2. 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 or higher in English or Te Reo Māori (4 in reading, 4 in writing).

3. If English is not your first language, you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

If you do not have (1) above, we also accept entry by special or discretionary admission:


  • Be 20 years on when you start this programme; AND
  • Demonstrate your practical abilities by providing a small portfolio of evidence as approved by the Academic Leader



  • Be under 20 years old at the start of the programme; AND
  • Demonstrate your background of automotive engineering at this required level, as assessed and approved by the Academic Leader.*

*Note: If you are unsure whether or not you met the entry criteria, please Apply for this programme and we will contact you. These regulations have been updated in September 2018.

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Technology Skills 1 (APTE5101) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce and develop effective skills for the investigations and learning required for studies in technology.
Technology Skills 2 (APTE5102) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop knowledge and understanding of industry structures, Treaty of Waitangi//Tiriti o Waitangi implications, small business practices, and use of industry software in selected areas of technology.
Courses Credits Aim
Sustainable Technologies (APTE6103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to investigate sustainable technology principles and integrate this knowledge within a local context.
Technology Practice (APTE6104) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to investigate and apply systems of environmental resource management and sustainability
Courses Credits Aim
Industry Investigation (APTE7105) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to investigate an area of industry and to compose and present a formal research proposal.
Industry Project (APTE7106) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS) To enable the student to conduct research within the context of an industry area
Courses Credits Aim
Technology Materials (APTE5201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of the properties, performance and applications of common materials relevant to technologies.
Engineering Mechanics (APTE5203) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To provide students’ knowledge and skills to the application of mechanical engineering science principles in relation to their specific area of study.
Vehicle Power Transmission (APTE5501) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to analytically examine the theoretical and practical aspects of vehicle transmissions and drivelines.
Brake Systems (APTE5503) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to understand principles, applications and procedures associated with vehicle brake systems.
Vehicle Body Design (APTE5504) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop an understanding of principles of modern vehicles body design.
Motor Trade Business Processes (APTE5506) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to analytically examine the motor trade regulations and its application in everyday business processes.
Spare Parts & Inventory Systems (APTE5507) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the students to develop understanding of spare part concepts and inventory systems process and procedures.
Courses Credits Aim
Engineering Concept Modelling (APTE6201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to use modelling and analysis techniques applicable to the areas of study.
Steering and Suspension (APTE6507) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to analyse theoretical and practical aspects of steering and suspension
Engine Management Systems (APTE6509) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to analyse and evaluate a range of specialised principles and applications in the management of vehicle engines
Engine Fuels and Emissions (APTE6510) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to analyse and evaluate a range of technology principles and consequences relating to engine management systems, engine fuels and vehicle emissions.
Automotive Professional Practice (APTE6511) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) The purpose of this course is to enable the student to discuss the operational requirements of an automotive workshop at level 6 .
Road Transport Guidelines (APTE6514) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to analyse the road transport guidelines and its application in business processes.
Courses Credits Aim
Professional Business Management (APTE7207) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To study the strategic management of businesses in a sector, their business management models and practices.
Vehicle Failure Analysis (APTE7502) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to analyse mechanical failures in vehicles and develop strategies for their prevention or minimization.

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